Well, the scammers DO keep shifting around. Please be allergic to ANYTHING that smells even the slightest bit fishy, folks.
Here are the two newest ways that tricksters are getting past people’s defenses:
– The “I know your PASSWORD, and here it is! Gimme MONEY!” trick. Within the last year, Yahoo made a sorrowful confession… “Ummm, remember when we said that a BILLION people’s emails and passwords were stolen? Well, gosh. It was actually THREE BILLION identities stolen. Our bad!” Scammers bought that info, and are now flashing their stolen info to scare gullible people into thinking that their data is going to be stolen, unless they call RIGHT NOW and give money. As long as you have NOT been using that same password for everything, you’re in no danger. When the newest operating system (“Mojave”) comes out, all of this will become a thing of the past. Mojave will force you very pleasantly to make much, much more secure passwords, and the operating system will handle it all for you, safely and automatically. No more hand-scrawled password lists.
The other new one has to do with urgent-sounding calls from “Apple Support.” Apple doesn’t do this. Bombay tricksters do. One of my clients in his mid-80’s fell for this one. The woman on the phone was digging through his computer. She LOGGED ONTO PAYPAL and attempted to send herself money. As she did so, he asked her “Are you trying to scam me?” and she says “No, no- I’m FIXING your security.” Shameless. When he FINALLY thought to call me, the first words out of my mouth were “Hang up, call the number on the back of your card, and cancel any payments! ” He did, and his bank found just under $1,000 of scam purchases.
These scams don’t leave any damage on the afflicted person’s computer, usually. They just want to impress you with snappy patter while they are trying to rob you. They tend not to stick around, preferring to smash and grab.
Here’s another scam: If you try to get support from a major corporation, and they ask you for money, or payment in store gift cards, they re NOT representatives from that large corporation. They are tricksters.